No End In Sight for Road Work Stoppage Despite Gov. Snyder Intervention

Bre’Anna Tinsley/ WDET

UPDATE (9/27/2018 1:53 p.m.): The labor impasse has been resolved and Governor Rick Snyder announced that work will begin again on Michigan’s roads.

Gov. Rick Snyder still can’t build a bridge between a union and a construction trade association to end a road work stoppage across the state.

After its contract was up, the Operating Engineers Local 324 union wanted to bargain directly with individual contractors – not with a construction trade association, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, or MITA.

Snyder met with both sides, but he said they haven’t been able to come up with a long-term or short-term solution. Which he said is challenging given that winter is around the corner.

In a press conference Tuesday, Snyder said his administration is still working out if they can legally intervene given federal labor laws.

This is between two parties to a labor dispute but at the same time it involves our roads,” he said. “Our citizens drive on these roads. These are roads that we pay for.”

The union and contractor group have agreed to not speak to the press about ongoing negotiations at this time.

Snyder has said he is considering bringing in the National Guard engineering units to take care of important road sections before winter. But for the time being, it looks like the two sides are at an impasse.

Our public is not going to be happy about this,” Snyder said. “I’m not happy about this. This is not a good situation.”

Zach Gorchow, editor of the Gongwer Capitol news service in Lansing, joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about this issue and other big state government and political news stories.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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Detroit Today

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Cheyna Roth


Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She’s also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.   Follow @Cheyna_R

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